‘Very tough, uncertain’: Experts on path to restart Jet Airways
A day after the plan to put Jet Airways back in business got approval, experts have said that it is going to be “very tough and uncertain”.
The carrier’s creditors approved a multi-million dollar resolution plan on Saturday under which Jet Airways would be acquired by an investor consortium.
However, experts say the road ahead is very long. “The path to restart operations is very tough and uncertain,” aviation advisory and research practice CAPA India head Kapil Kaul told news agency PTI.
The plan submitted by a consortium of London-based Kalrock Capital and UAE-based businessman Murari Lal Jalan comes after months of talks over the airline’s future and was confirmed in a regulatory filing, which gave no details of the deal.
The plan will now be submitted to the NCLT for its final approval. If the court allows, the airline’s new owners would have the task of taking it off the ground again at a time when the aviation industry globally is in financial distress due to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.
Airline revenues plunged 80 per cent in the first six months of 2020, according to industry despite pruning costs just over 50 per cent during the second quarter, compared to the year-ago period.
Cash-strapped Jet Airways had announced temporary suspension of services on April 17 last year. Its last flight S2-3502 took off from Amritsar at around 10:30 pm touched down at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport at 12:22 am on April 18, 2019.
At the peak of its operations, Jet Airways had little over 120 planes. When the operations came to a halt due to mounting debt woes and unpaid salaries, the airline had around 16 own planes.
After Jet halted operations at least 280 slots were vacant in Mumbai and 160 in Delhi, which were then given to its rivals. The revival plan is also based on getting some of these slots back.